No, this is not a reference to a playing card trick where you get scammed or by a magician who’s been learning his craft for many years but instead it’s a reference to the wide range of promotional USB cards that are now available.
Until a couple of year ago most USB drives were pretty simple rectangular shaped pieces of plastic/metal. Yes there were variations between them but broadly speaking they all were all the same sort of shape and style with USB sticks like the capless “twister” being the most popular.
The problem with these rectangular “sticks” is that they offer very little print area to work with. They’re fine for printing a simple logo and strapline on but for larger and more complex images things start to get tricky – there just isn’t enough room on standard USB sticks for some images.
A couple of years ago the first USB Cards were launched and whilst these dealt with the challenge of printing large images they were pretty “clunky”. They were the same shape as a credit card but much, much thicker and the mechanism to access and use the USB connector was not brilliant and in regular use was prone to failure.
Today we’re able to use UDP flash memory components which are much thinner than traditional COB (Chip on Board) components and this has transformed the range of USB models and designs that are available. They’ve had the greatest impact on USB Cards with the typical thickness of a USB card now reduced to just 2mm!
The net effect of this is that we are now able to offer a wide range of card shapes (triangles, circles, squares, rectangles and credit cards) and they can all be printed in full and glorious colour on both sides of the card with a full bleed of the image right up to the edge of the card! So if you have some amazing images and you want them to be used on your promotional USB memory sticks you now have plenty of options.
As you can see from these examples certain company brands lend themselves really well to a particular shape of card but the default option tends to be the credit card shape as much as anything because it’s a shape we’re all familiar with and we all have wallets and purses to keep them in!